What Is It ?
A spinal fusion is simply the uniting of two bony segments, whether a fracture or a vertebral joint. The reason for instrumentation with rods and screws is to act as and 'internal cast' to stabilize the vertebra until the fusion, or bony re-growth, can occur.
Spinal Decompressions are also occasionally combined with a stabilisation procedure such as a Wallis ligament implant.
This is for two reasons :
- To try and prevent further collapse as the spine ages leading to more nerve compression
- To stabilise the spine and relieve back pain as an accompanying symptom to nerve compression.
The patient is positioned on the operating table in a prone position. The incision is made over the anatomic position of the spinous process.
Bone is Removed
When indicated, soft tissue and bony decompression are performed to relieve neurological compression.
For a degenerative spondylolisthesis case, a blunt probe is inserted through the pedicle and into the vertebral body. Once the pedicle canals are prepared and the screw length determined, the screws are sequentially inserted.
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